Grilled Grandma: Grandma Christie

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How many children do you have? 
Two biological daughters and a stepdaughter and son that I consider my own.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
10: 17, 15, 13, 13, 12, 11, 11, 10, 9, 8

Any great grandchildren?

What do your grandchildren call you?

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother?
That mother and baby would be healthy and happy.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
At least weekly. We are blessed to have all of our grandchildren living within 10 miles of us! One grandson comes to our house each day before and after school.

What is the best thing about being a grandma?
The unconditional, uncomplicated love that I have for them and they have for me. There is no more beautiful sound than a grandchild calling, “Grandma!” when you walk through the door.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
Not being able to wipe every tear or mend every heartbreak—or prevent them in the first place! Knowing that life has its sorrows and challenges and accepting that your grandchildren will have to experience those for themselves.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. 
So many things! Here’s one from a few years ago that I still laugh about: We were playing Mad Libs, and our then 3-year-old granddaughter didn’t yet know her parts of speech, so on her turn, her mother would prompt her. When we needed an adjective, mom asked her, “How does Grandma look?” She thought a moment and then responded, “Hideous.” (What?!? I’m sure she didn’t know what hideous means.)

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What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? 
Talk with them; they are truly amazing. Tease and laugh. Cuddle with the younger ones. Bake cookies, paint fingernails, and read books.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
Watch them play together—playing soccer, doing gymnastics, dancing. I love listening to them just talk and laugh amongst themselves.

What/where has been your favorite family vacation?
Each year we go to Bear Lake in Idaho. We rent several cabins and RV and tent spots at our favorite campground. It’s lovely waking up together, eating meals, playing games, visiting around the campfire, and going to the lake all together.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?
Since we see each other often, it’s not much as an issue, but we do text, talk on the phone, and send pictures.

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What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
Confidence, kindness, and mindfulness.

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What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?
They grow up so fast—just like our own children. Slow down and be fully present with them. 

What is one thing (or more) you're proud to say you do right as a grandma?
They each know I love them unconditionally. I am a solid, reliable source of strength in their lives. They can come to me in good times and bad, for a hug, a listening ear, or advice.  

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
I imagine it comes naturally—but just love and treasure them. Spend as much time as you can with them. Go ahead and spoil them. That’s your job.

Is there anything else you would you like to add about being a grandmother?
It’s the best “job” ever!

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Do you have a website or blog? What is the URL and what is it about?
Yes, So What? Now What? at